WASHINGTON, IL -- The Heartland Festival Orchestra's Jan. 7 New Year's Greeting, Vienna to Broadway, was brilliant, and wowed the audience, as usual. This annual program by the orchestra is always wonderful.
This time it featured two extraordinary opera/Broadway stars, John Cudia and Sarah Jane McMahon, who sang separately and together.
The program was cleverly staged, to show how the best of Broadway musicals evolved from opera. So the audience was treated to When I Go Out, from Puccini's La Boheme, Strauss waltzes, then Italian Street Song from Victor Herbert's Naughty Marietta, to pieces from My Fair Lady, West Side Story and Phantom of the Opera. With a number from Les Miserables for an encore.
The influence of opera on the Broadway pieces was obvious, and delightful. The mix of numbers from classical and opera to Broadway was beautifully done, for a lovely evening.
-- Elaine Hopkins